I’ve spent the past couple of weeks exploring the new Courtney Barnett album, but it’s not the only new record I’ve picked up recently. I won’t go through the others track by track, but I will give them some love the rest of this week.
I’ll start with Jose Rouse’s The Embers of Time. This is Rouse’s 11th studio album in 16 years — he’s a lot more prolific than I give him credit for.
The artist Rouse has always reminded me of the most is Paul Simon, both in his 70s pop mode and his later world music exploration. Rouse has dabbled in both of those styles himself, with varying results.
On The Embers of Time, Rouse is solidly in early solo Simon territory. This album could fit nicely on the shelf next to There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. It ain’t Nashville (Rouse’s best work) but then early Simon ain’t Graceland.
Most of the tracks are somber — the album was written after (and about) a period of depression — but Rouse’s melodic gifts give buoyancy to even the saddest songs. Album closer ‘Crystal Falls’ (today’s SOTD) is an upbeat burst of nostalgia that wraps things up nicely.
I need to spend more time with this album before I can stack it up against the rest of Rouse’s work, but I’m pleased so far.